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IntegrationsThe Struggle for Racial Equality and Civic Renewal in Public Education$
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Lawrence Blum and Zoë Burkholder

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780226785981

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2022

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226786179.001.0001

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The Civic Argument

(p.160) Chapter 5 Integrations

Lawrence Blum

Zoë Burkholder

University of Chicago Press

Chapter 5: “Integrations: The Civic Argument” explores the strongest argument for integration—that integrated schools and classes provide the most secure foundation for civic education, a central purpose of public education but one severely weakened by post 1990s neoliberal reforms. Integration is the most favorable setting for developing students’ civic knowledge and capability, commitment and efficacy, and civic attachments, preparing them to learn to work together for racial and social justice within the multiracial democracy they will share as adults. Integrated schools must also be able to protect and affirm the plurality of students’ racial and ethnic identities, not adopt a color-blind (much less assimilationist) form of integration. The increasing proliferation of ethnoracial groups in the US both enriches and challenges the values of “ideal integration” founded on Dr. King’s vision of a caring and welcoming community. Class differences and the more recent gentrification of urban neighborhoods also increase the range of “integrations” and the distinct challenges they pose.

Keywords:   diverse workplace, civic goods, civic education, prejudice, racial identities, racial justice, gentrification and integration, comfort in the classroom, egalitarian civic integrationst pluralism

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